According to some reports, most drivers spend less than 1% of their time driving in reverse, yet about 25% of car collisions happen when backing up.
Advancements in technology and safety features may reduce the number of accidents that happen while a motorist is backing up, but the maneuver will likely remain a safety concern in the future.
Unsafe driving practices are to blame for many backing accidents. Long truck beds can limit rear vision, and auto bodies themselves can sometimes block drivers’ views, preventing them from seeing other vehicles, pedestrians, coworkers, or obstacles. New York drivers must always follow the Vehicle and Traffic Law, which provides, among other things, that the driver of a vehicle “shall not back the same unless such movement can be made with safety and without interfering with other traffic” and such driver “shall not back the same upon any shoulder or roadway of any controlled access highway.”
This is one of many Vehicle and Traffic Laws that apply when a New York motorist tries to back up. In its driver’s manual, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles provides helpful information about how to “back up” when parallel parking, considered by some to be one of the more difficult maneuvers. In fact, the DMV says that “many motorists consider parallel parking the most difficult part of driving.”
When backing into the spot, the second step in the process, the DMV instructs that a parallel-parking driver should look behind over both shoulders to make sure that the driver will not interfere with pedestrians or oncoming traffic, then “[b]ack the vehicle slowly and begin to turn the steering wheel completely toward the near cub.” Then the driver should “look through the rear window, not the mirrors, when you back up” and “look to the side and front occasionally to make sure you will not touch the vehicle ahead,” according to the DMV.
The driver’s manual is an excellent resource for those looking to review driving practices. Another great resource is New York’s Point & Insurance Reduction Program, which includes approved courses that can help to refresh driving knowledge.
If you were injured after another driver engaged in unsafe backing, causing your injuries, feel free to call the car accident attorneys at William Mattar P.C.